The Science Of Being In The Friend Zone

It's every nice guy's fear when it comes to a girl that he really likes: being put in the friend zone. That invisible walled off space is impossible to break. The alcatraz jail cell of a potential relationship. Once you're in there, all you'll hear about is her love life, her sex life, her boyfriends, her one night stands, etc. But you'll never hear about her and you. It's rough! But what's the science behind it?

Vsauce, the guy who figured out if its mathematically possible to run out of new music, examined the science of the friend zone. Limerence — or the butterflies in the stomach feeling you get when you see someone you like — happens when you're attracted to somebody. It's not there when you're not. Of course, the video goes much deeper than that. After watching it, you'll know scientifically why you ended up in the friend zone. So maybe you can avoid it next time. [YouTube]


    Ffs. I hate this friend zone crap.

    A guy performs some friend-like task for a girl. He is behaving like a friend. He has presented the girl with friendship; that is what he has offered her with his behaviour. And yet she's the one that's portrayed as stupid or manipulative for treating him with friendship in return? The audacity of these people is unbelievable. They do things for a girl because they like her and expect, in return, that she'll fall in love with them? Love isn't a trade-off, you don't BUY it with favours. The very idea that this girl somehow owes them a relationship because they've invested time and effort in being friendly is thoroughly insulting; when you exchange something for sexual attention, it's generally regarded as prostitution.

      No. That's one use of the word friendzone (and one that has been discussed a lot in recent days).

      But most guys I know don't use the word that way. It's not about having been nice to a girl and she's meanly not suddenly dating you. It's simply a well observed phenomenon where guys find themselves in a scenario where a girl they like sees them as a friend, not a potential mate.

      Most guys don't see this as "the girl owes me something for being nice and I didn't get it". Most guys just shrug, either stay friends with the girl or don't (for whatever reasons), and move on.

      But it's really something most guys only deal with in high school and college. Most guys quickly learn that simply making your intentions clear (ie actually asking a girl out) rather than just acting friendly for ages is how you avoid the friend zone.

      And what, you propose you just skip the relationship building stage and go straight into confession and drag her into a shot gun wedding?

        I hit them over the head with a club and drag them back into my cave. Old school.

      You know, it's only the people that decry the "friend zone crap" that I hear saying things about "doing things for a girl" and expecting love in return.

      Here's how it really goes. You like a girl. You pursue her, you ask her out, you make it clear that you're interested in her romantically (yeah, you have to do this, because you are correct by saying that only treating her like a friend will get you nowhere other than friendship), and get rejected, but also get the line "let's still be friends!" The problem is that that is hard, because you can't just switch off how you feel about her. This is the friend zone. So in reality, there are three ways out of the friend zone:

      1. End the friendship to save your sanity.
      2. Continue the friendship and work on eventually getting over your feelings.
      3. Continue the friendship and hope that as she gets to know you better, and/or as you both mature, how she feels about you will change.

      The trap of course, is aiming for 3 when it's never going to happen, which many men (including myself) have done.

      So yes, the whole concept of being "owed a relationship" and "exchanging something for sexual attention" is stupid, and if anyone really thinks that way, they're a jerk. But outside of that, the friend zone is a real thing, and it is frustrating if you don't know how to deal with it yet, and keep aiming for option 3 in the vain hope that "surely she'll realise I'm perfect for her in good time!" Experience helps with that.

        Absolutely right.
        You guys shouldn't put your own definition on to something then call it bullshit...
        It pisses me off as much as people referring to dickhole wankers as 'trolls', trolling
        isn't the same as outright harassment.

      This guy pretty much nails it against an argument almost exactly like yours. I concur with him. I was friend zoned once. Never again.

    so at 8:50 was I the only one thinking - "You're the friend they deserve, not the partner they need right now"

    The science behind it? How about 'you're not entitled to a woman's body just because you're nice to her'? Or 'tell a woman your true intentions from the start, so she can make an informed decision, and don't be a douche when it's not the decision you wanted'?

    This friendzone stuff is incredibly dangerous. From a young age, men are taught that they're entitled to a woman's body if they're nice to her, or persistent enough, or just by virtue of being male. If a woman isn't interested, this friendzone theory proposes that it's all somehow that horrible bitch's fault. What more does she want? You were nice to her! You listened to her when she spoke about her day, her dreams, her failed relationships. Doesn't she owe you?!

    Here's a thought: if you're the sort of guy who stews bitterly in a sense of your own entitlement, then you're not a nice guy. Women are not machines that you put friendship tokens into until sex falls out. Friendship should be valued. It should not be used as a tool of manipulation by which you gain sex. If you can't respect a woman enough to be her friend, then you sure as hell don't respect her enough to date her.

    Once I'm in the friend zone, she's in the "goodbye zone".

    Last edited 17/01/13 3:31 am

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now